Case of Qatar: Reducing the oil and gas dependency through the hosting of mega-sport events
- Sport tourism
- Impact of Sport tourism and mega-sport events
- How to reach Qatar objectives through the hosting of mega-sport events?
Qatar has built through sport and tourism an image of innovative development, economic power and luxury. Sport events such as golf, horse racing have been developed as instrument to build an image of elitism and affluence. Sport is a very important part of a plan to build the image of Qatar, lead by sport and tourism to leave the dependency on oil and gas. Indeed tourism is one of the principal growth sectors in international services trade. One of the more observable contributions to this growth comes from mega-events. According to Roche (2000) a mega-events is a large-scale cultural events, which have a dramatic character, mass popular appeal and international significance. Such global events seem to have produced world tourism patterns, emphasizing new tourism destinations, creating legacies in host cities or countries and providing impressions of a host country to spectators from foreign countries, television viewers and users of other information media. Sport tourism, as a combination of sports and tourism, refers to people going in holiday to practice sport or attending sport events during their holidays. This paper will focus in this latter definition. This sector faces new trends since the 60s which has been fostered by the changes that the tourism industry witnessed, particularly the new trend of tourists who want to experience places that offer new and diverse products. Therefore the combination of tourism and sport made sense and encouraged sport fans to change their traditional destinations by turning toward the countries that are hosting exciting sport events. Collins notes that sport events can provide a tourist focus where nature has failed to do so, or can spread the use of accommodation into off-peak periods or stimulate accommodation provision (Collins 1997))